Des Moines

But before I left, I did walk 3 plus miles and lift: rotator cuff, usual PT, pull ups 5 sets of 10, 2 of 5 (strong), incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 150, decline: 10 x 160, military: 7 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, 10 x 40 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (single arm), squats: 2 sets of 6 with 25, 6 with 40, 6 with 50 (full depth), plank, headstand, wall handstand (getting used to it) knee stretching.

Weight: 189 before.

Two photos: one of the arena, one of the Iowa State capitol.

4 men’s games tomorrow (2 sessions), 2 women’s games on Friday in Iowa City.

Bradley plays Michigan State in game 2 of the first of two sessions tomorrow, and is an 18.5 point underdog. But there is a reason they play the game. Go Braves!

I am the one on the left.

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Kaboom and me.

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March 21, 2019 Posted by | basketball, travel, walking, weight training, yoga | , | Leave a comment

Impending trip: Spring Break

I do have things to say; I’ve thought about stuff.

But in terms of politics: sigh. Seriously, I see us losing the 2020 Presidential election; it is almost as if the rabid wing of our party is doubling down on what failed in 2016. Yes, Trump is a bold liar:

On its release last week, President Trump’s $4.7 trillion 2020 budget was pronounced dead on arrival, and was quickly lost in the cacophony of his presidency. The New York Times suggested it provides a “declaration of Mr. Trump’s reelection campaign priorities.” In fact, its pages include not only the president’s campaign rhetoric but also an accounting of his actual values and priorities that reveal the scope of his betrayal of the working men and women who voted him into office. This is not “A Budget for a Better America,” as its title reads. It is a budget for a bitter betrayal.

The first page of the president’s budget message promises to “protect future generations from Washington’s habitual deficit spending.” But tax cuts for the rich and corporations, not deficits, remain the president’s priority. Even with its laughably rosy economic projections, the budget projects trillion-dollar annual deficits for the next four years, while doubling down on the president’s tax-cut folly, calling for making them permanent.

Yet the deficits do provide the excuse for across-the-board cuts in domestic programs. Here, too, working people, their families, individuals with disabilities, and the most vulnerable of the elderly take the biggest hits. The president, once more, calls for ending the Affordable Care Act, reversing the expansion of Medicaid, and turning the latter into a block grant to states, capped at a level that does not keep up with rising costs. […]

And yes, Trump plans to cut Social Security and Medicare..stuff he pledged not to do.

Well…now, ok, I know, Trump’s budget is dead on arrival in Congress. But why do I think he will get away with it?

Well look at the stuff leading Democrats are running on: reparations for slavery. Now, I know, that is not the sole platform, but it sure appears that the Democratic candidates are trying to “out woke” each other (at least those polling at above 10 percent) and, well, I sure hope that the Democrat nominee does more than say “don’t you see what a racist/sexist/misogynist Trump is?” That works on liberal twitter and perhaps in college faculty lounges..but I doubt that will work anywhere else.

Yes, I know; this is Godfrey Elfwick, a satirical character. But this sure *sounds* like what I’ve seen:

So if it didn’t work last time..well. yell louder and double down.

Joe Biden looks as if he will run. That might clear out much of the field, leaving Bernie Sanders and perhaps 1-2 legitimate contenders. I sure hope this isn’t a Biden-Abrams ticket; I do not see Stacey Abrams as a fit representative of our party.

I’ve also had things to say about the Rep. Omar/criticism of AIPAC fiasco…let’s just say that it is ok to question money in politics and it is ok to question the relationship of the United States to its allies, and one should not have to walk on egg shells to do so.

The positive: It looks as if I have an interesting second half of spring break: NCAA basketball featuring Bradley vs. Michigan State (along with 3 other entertaining games: Louisville vs. Minnesota, Michigan vs. Montana and Nevada vs. Florida. Ironically, I have better tickets for the second session as those tickets aren’t as in demand as the first all of the first session teams are driving distance away. And on Friday: I have tickets for the Iowa women’s subregional: Iowa vs. Mercer, Drake vs. Missouri.

On Saturday: the first spandex chase since last November. Am I in better shape now?

Math stuff: a professor I once TA’ed for won the Abel Prize (sort of like a Nobel Prize for mathematics) and I spent time writing this up.

Workout notes: slow 10.5 mile walk (River trail, Glen Oak park hill, Forrest Hill, etc.) 3:01 (good weather, just slow
Monday: weights (planks, rotator cuff, pull ups: 5 sets of 10, 1 of 5) bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, incline: 10 x 135, decline: 8 x 165, military: 15 x 50 seated, supported (could not get standing), 10 x 45, 10 x 40 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer, headstand, plank, did some other practice (wall handstand), light squats: 6 x 25, 35, 50 goblet, go all the way down, knee stretches (down to 4 lb. uncomfortable..heel sit), 3+ walk outside.

Today: yoga with Ms. V, 7 mile Glen Oak/Springdale hill run in 1:24 (freezing); 1 minute faster than a week ago, 3 minutes slower than Thursday. Felt stiff and awkward.

March 20, 2019 Posted by | basketball, Democrats, politics, politics/social, running, walking, weight training, yoga | , , | Leave a comment

Spring break: perhaps more to say later

But for now, this will be “workout catch up”:

Thursday: 7 mile run (same as Tuesday..ok, oh-so-slightly longer in shorts (50’s, windy) in 1:21; mastered the tough hill. After yoga with Ms. V.
Friday: weights: pull ups 4 sets of 10, 3 of 5, bench: 10 x 135, 2 x 185, 1 x 190, incline: 10 x 135, decline: 10 x 160, military: standing, 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 40, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110, rotator cuff, planks, headstand, etc. Did some light squats (25, 35, then “to the sill” squats with 44 kettle bell..knee bends (to 4 lb green and white ball…eventually, 25 seconds)

Weight: 189 Thursday, 190 today.

Spent some time on this kind of math.

March 16, 2019 Posted by | mathematics, running, statistics, weight training | | Leave a comment

My anger over the college admissions cheating scandal

I admit that I was angered by this story:

The actress Lori Loughlin surrendered to F.B.I. agents in Los Angeles on Wednesday morning, a spokeswoman for the agency said. Ms. Loughlin and her husband, the fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters accepted as recruits for the rowing team at the University of Southern California, even though neither took part in the sport. Mr. Giannulli was arrested on Tuesday and released on $1 million bail.

The idea is, of course, that they do cut some academic entrance breaks to student athletes. And:

Gordon Caplan, a co-chairman of the global law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, who is accused of paying $75,000 to have someone correct his daughter’s answers on the ACT exam, was put on leave by his firm on Wednesday. Reached by phone, Mr. Caplan declined to comment.

Out and out cheating ..and

According to court filings, in a conversation with Mr. Caplan, Mr. Singer explained that for $4,000 or $5,000, a psychologist he worked with would write a report saying Mr. Caplan’s daughter had disabilities and required special accommodations. He assured Mr. Caplan that many parents did this for their children.

If you are unfamiliar, a student can claim a “learning disability.” If it is verified by the correct type of professional, the student can be given extra time, etc.

Obviously, I don’t like the cheating, the unfairness, and people buying results for their kids. But the stain goes deeper: there are people out there who honestly believe that no one achieves more than they do without cheating…seriously. This just fuels their paranoia.

(note: this is one reason I love sports so much; if I go to a 5K I have little doubt that there are people a whole lot better at running than I am! No one can doubt that!)

This is just a stain on academia.

Just as bad are some of the “meh…rich people buy stuff all the time” reactions. Yes, opportunities are not perfectly equal, nor will they ever be. But the inequalities are, well, somewhat complicated.

And no..we don’t have a perfect meritocracy. I get that. But we have a “sort of” meritocracy.

Think of it this way: take college sports. In most sports, say football or basketball, a division I team will (usually) easily defeat a division II team. But yes, a few D-2 players make it to the professional leagues. So it is not true that every D-1 player is better than every D-2 player. But on the whole, the recruiters get it right.

Same in academia. On the average, Harvard students are better than students from most other universities, though you’ll see some from other universities out perform most Harvard graduates. An elite school cannot take most of the highly qualified applicants. But the best students DO get into a good school might not be their first choice, and they might be better than some that do get into their first choice.

But eventually, on the whole, the cream does rise. As evidence: this computer works, the computer network works, planes fly, and medicines work. That is because eventually, the highly qualified, talented individuals get credentialed in these areas and are successful.

I saw this in graduate school: I got my Ph. D. at the time the Soviet Union had broken up and super qualified Russian mathematicians were taking up the new R-1 job openings. And those colleagues of mine who got the best research job openings WERE smarter than I was, period. Ok, they still are.

So, in academia, I’d say that we have a “statistical meritocracy”, where some fall through the cracks, and some unworthy or “less worthy” rise.

Workout notes: 2 mile walk after weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10, 1 of 5), incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 150, decline: 10 x 165, military: 5 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell. Planks, headstand..and yes some before and after walk knee 20-30 seconds on the green and white 4 lb. medicine ball AFTER stretching and light squats.

Walk: 29:10; 15:10 initial, then .25 speed up with 1-4 incline. I got distracted and almost missed my 2 mile split.

March 14, 2019 Posted by | education, social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Could I be on your basketball team?

Yes, evidently, some wealthy people bribed colleges (and college officials) to admit their offspring “as prospective athletes” and did things like fake competition records, academic tests, etc.

I didn’t have trouble with academics…but sports were another matter. Example: between 4’th and 5’th grade, I went to two “part of the city” little league baseball tryouts and wasn’t selected for a team. But I received (and accepted) an unsolicited invitation to a math camp. (based on teacher recommendations).

So…if my parents were wealthy enough…could they have bribed some big time college sports team to take me as a walk on? (obviously, someone who never got to play).


Workout notes: Monday: weights and a easy 2 mile run on the treadmill (22 minutes) followed by knee stretches. Pull ups: 5 sets of 10, one of 5. bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 6 x 165, incline: 10 x 135, military: 6 x 50 standing, 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 70 (each arm) machine, 2 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell rows, 10 machine rows, plank, headstand, etc.

Tuesday (today), yoga with Ms. V, then 7 miles outside in 1:25.

Not at all fast..but that course is brutal.

Body weight: 188.7 before running this morning. Pants are sliding off. Knees: better still.. a bit more comfortable kneeling with a “block on its side.”

March 13, 2019 Posted by | running, weight training | , | Leave a comment

I’m working this evening

because I took the afternoon off to watch Bradley Basketball advance to the semi-final round of the MVC tournament. It was an exciting game; BU trailed 29-22 at the half but Missouri State hit some tough to lucky shots.

But eventually took the lead about half way to go and then held on for a wild ride. BU lead 58-52 with 1:30 left. But eventually the Bears cut it to 58-56 and stole the ball on an inbound pass with 13 seconds to go but missed a long 3; BU got the rebound and got fouled. 60-56 when BU hit 2 free throws; Mo. St. got to 60-58 with 2 seconds but had to foul; BU hit 1 of 2 free throws with 1.4 seconds left and the desperation heave failed.

So…off to St. Louis for me for the two games tomorrow (I’ll say for both) and then return. I have some work to do on Sunday, should Bradley whip Loyola. Right now, Drake is pounding Illinois State but it is early and Southern Illinois plays UNI tonight.

Workout notes: morning; weights with a 2 mile warm up intensity run, followed by light squats (25, 35) and knee stretches; managed to work to the 4 lb. medicine ball (uncomfortable).

Rotator cuff, pull ups (5-5-5, 5-5-5, 10, 10, 5), bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, incline: 10 x 135, decline: 8 x 165. military: 6 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, 10 x 45 standing: rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 each arm, 10 x 125 machine.

planks, headstand (2:30 front plank, as usual), then the knee stretches.

I use either 2 yoga blocks stacked in the manner shown (photo from here), or a medicine ball (hard rubber one); 8-10 lb. is getting comfortable; 4 lb. is uncomfortable though I can “touch”.

March 9, 2019 Posted by | basketball, running, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Not giving up on a workout too early

Yesterday: decent yoga session followed by what I hoped would be a 6 mile run. It didn’t go as planned; the first treadmill mile was TERRIBLE..out of breath, wheezing..and had to walk twice..first mile took 12:10 to do.

I got off and walked to the track; “just do what you can” I told myself.

I mostly used lane 3 (7.5 laps to the mile; these are 1.067 mile segments): 11:52, 11:36, 11:16, 10:47, 9:31. that was 55:04 for 5.3 miles; last mile was 8:54. No, no one would call this “good”, but I’ve done a lot worse. Then some knee stretching.

Today: 11 F this morning (brutal start to March) so to the gym for weights, easy jog, knee stretching.
Weights; rotator cuff, pull ups: 4 sets of 10, 2 of 5, 1 of 10, bench: 10 x 135, 2 x 185 (left shoulder), 7 x 160 (left shoulder), 10 x 160 decline, military: 15 x 50 seated (supported), 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 40 standing, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 each arm, 10 x 110 machine, planks, head stand, etc.

Run: 11:40 treadmill…accidentally hit “stop” so to the track (10:30 lane 2…felt as if I were running in place), then knee stretching: 3 sets of 6 squats (25, 25, 35), most reps full depth (takes a few reps to get going), knee stretches. 10 lb. medicine ball: easy. 4 lb. green one: OUCH. That hurt. Can and touch..not nearly comfortable yet.

THIS is my goal…no where near there yet (and may never get there). First subgoal: one yoga block.

March 6, 2019 Posted by | running, weight training | | Leave a comment

And I grow pessimistic ….

First the good: I had a decent weight workout and, after warming up, I can now kneel down to the 4 lb. green and white medicine ball and hold it for 15-20 seconds. That is progress for me.
Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups: 4 sets of 10, 2 sets of 5, one set of 10 (yes, 60 total..I’ve stepped it up)
incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 150, decline: 8 x 165. military: 6 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported (dumbbells), 10 x 40 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm. I was done in 30 minutes.
plank (2:30 as usual), headstand, light squats, knee stretching. Getting there.

bad: it is cold; -1 F.

Politics: there is a split among Democrats and I don’t see it changing. I can easily see Trump winning reelection.

I think so much attention paid to some of the new, younger women members of Congress doesn’t help. I wish people would remember that these women came from “safe” blue districts; what got the House flipped were conservative to moderate Democrats flipping red districts.

And some of our issues, like climate change, are complicated and hard to win at politically.

Science I’ll end on an upbeat note: yes, someone having to get a body part amputated due to what should have been a routine “broken bone and heal” sucks. But there is a new amputation procedure that gives people more hope of using the limb. Here is the story of a swimmer.

March 5, 2019 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, social/political, weight training | , | Leave a comment

My quest to be more like Kellyanne and other topics

Workouts and basketball in this post.

Basketball: the Bradley women beat Valpo on Thursday night.

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Was it something I said?😂🤣

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The Bradley defense was not good at first; Valpo at 15 points in the first 5 minutes, and lead 47-44 at the half; they were 8 of 16 from 3 point range. But in the second half, BU switched to a press defense to wear them down and Valpo ended up 13 of 34 from 3 point range. BU ended up winning 87-76. It was a nice adjustment. BU also shot 27-31 from the free throw line; that was huge.

Now the women are at 19 wins with Loyola at home today, followed by 2 tough road games (at UNI who is no. 3 in the MVC and at league leading Drake). But BU is at 9-6 and is guaranteed to avoid the “play in” round of the MVC tournament and can finish as high as 4’th. A win puts BU at 20 wins and guarantees a winning MVC season..a big improvement over recent years.


Friday: 4.2 miles in just under 1 hour (walking)

Today: weights followed by a run and walk:

Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10, then one ending set of 5 after other exercises
bench: 10 x 135, 2 x 185, 3 x 185, 5 x 170. Decline: 10 x 165
military: 7 x 50 standing, 10 x 45 standing 10 x 40 standing, 8 x 140 machine
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine
machine incline: 10 x 140 machine
planks, knee stretches, light squats

run: 11 minute mile on the treadmill.
16 laps lane 2 in 17:37 (9:09, 8:27)
8 laps walking in lane 1 (tired)

This was an effort. I sweated off 3.2 lbs.
weight (prior) 192.5 (usual 194 with shoes and shorts/shirt, then deduct 2.5)

No motivation. I am getting miles and lifting and doing yoga. But this is directionless working out.

President Donald Trump, right, meets with leaders of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. Also at the meeting are White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, left, and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, on the couch. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

I did a lot of knee stretching (and planks) and did 30 seconds on the medium medicine ball..20 on the small 4 lb. green and white medicine ball. THAT is progress, however pathetic.

I want to be able to kneel like Kellyanne Conway. Currently, I need a prop under my butt (2 yoga blocks, 4 books, or a medicine ball). I have made progress.

March 2, 2019 Posted by | basketball, running, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

another workout catch up

Here I go:
Tuesday: yoga, then 6 miles of running on the treadmill. 32:24 for 3 miles (5.3-5.7 froggy), slow mile (5.1-5.2 to 43:30 for 4), then 6.7-6.8 mile (8:54) for 52:24; walk jog to get to 6 in 1:08.
Wednesday: somewhat empty weight room: rotator cuff, planks, etc. pull ups: 10, 10, 10, 10, 5, 5, bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185 (ugly), 10 x 135 incline, military: 3 sets of 10 with dumbbells: 45, 45, 40, rows: machine (110 for 3 sets of 10)
walk outside (3.2 miles W. Peoria)
Thursday (today): yoga, then 3 two mile runs: 22:20 treadmill, 16 laps of lane 3 (2.13) in 19:38 (10:00, 9:37), 24:10 walk/jog on the mill.

Note: I’ve worked on my knees; I am down to sitting on either 2 yoga blocks (easy) OR the medium orange and black medicine ball (8 lb.) It is getting better but I’ve got a long way to go.

Last night: Bradley defeated Valpo 67-42. BU started “all seniors” which included a walk on and a guy who does not play much; and they played Valpo to an 11-11 tie. BU lead by 9 at the half and it was never competitive in the second half.

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Not much drama in this one.

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Now the Missouri Valley is a mess: two teams (Loyola and Drake) tied at 11-6, Missouri State at 10-7 and four teams tied at 9-8 (Bradley, Southern Illinois, Northern Iowa, Illinois State (one of those teams will “play in” on Thursday night). Of the 6 teams that don’t play on Thursday night: any of them could win..there really is no favorite. So Bradley’s chances are as good as anyone else’s.

February 28, 2019 Posted by | basketball, running, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment